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Biologics for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

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Enbrel

Enbrel reduces joint inflammation and damage from rheumatoid arthritis by blocking a chemical activator of inflammation called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Enbrel is also an injection. Enbrel is given by self-injection under the skin once or twice a week. Patients can learn to give their own injections or receive them from a family member or caregiver who has had proper instruction. Preloaded syringes are available as self-injectable “click-pens.”

In addition to pain at the injection site, Enbrel's most common side effects are infection -- including upper respiratory infections like a cold -- diarrhea, rash, and itchy skin.

Humira

Humira reduces joint inflammation and damage from rheumatoid arthritis by blocking a chemical activator of inflammation called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Humira is an injection. It is given by self-injection under the skin once every two weeks. Patients can learn to give their own injections or receive them from a family member or caregiver who has had proper instruction. Preloaded syringes are available as self-injectable “click-pens.”

In addition to pain at the injection site, the most common side effects with Humira are upper respiratory infection (including sinus infection), headache, rash, nausea, and back pain.

Kineret

Kineret is a protein that reduces joint inflammation by blocking the action of the chemical messenger interleukin-1. The drug is administered as one injection daily (can be self-injected or given by another individual).

In addition to pain at the injection site, the most common effects with Kineret are upper respiratory infection (including sinus infection), headache, and nausea, and diarrhea.

Orencia

Orencia is a protein that blocks signals that are needed to activate T-cells of the immune system. Activated T-cells play an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Orencia can be given by intravenous infusion monthly or by weekly injection. Orencia's most common side effects are headache, inflammation of the nose and throat, dizziness, cough, and back pain.

Remicade

Like Enbrel and Humira, Remicade reduces inflammation and damage from rheumatoid arthritis by blocking a chemical activator of inflammation, tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Remicade is given by intravenous infusion in the doctor's office, an infusion center, or hospital. Each infusion takes about two hours. The intravenous treatments are given three times during the first six weeks of therapy, then every eight weeks thereafter.

The most common side effects of Remicade are upper respiratory infection (including sinus infection), nausea, headache, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

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